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It's gone now, the Alaska we grew up with. It's almost surreal - like a sad, nostalgic dream of something once remembered. Nobody actually came and stole it away, it just sort of sank into a sea of compromise and conformity and disappeared. It's hard to even recall when it all started. With statehood or the oil boom? Is someone to blame? The politicians? The 'managers'? The bureaucratic carpetbaggers coming north after statehood to exploit the political vacuum? They keep coming in their thousands to see some safe and sanitized version of the 'last frontier' from the window of a tour bus. They don't realize that it's no longer there. The old Alaska is no longer there. In my own profession, the engineering workplace is quickly falling prey to the idiotic concept of 'generic management'. The result has been a proliferation of meetings, memoranda, and endless codification of irrelevant, and time-wasting bureaucratic regulations. The eventual goal has changed from product to process.